Interpersonal affect and host country national support of expatriates: an investigation in China

Arup Varma, Pawan Budhwar, Anastasia Katou, Jossy Matthew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the role played by host country nationals’ (HCNs) collectivism and the interpersonal affect they develop toward expatriate colleagues, in determining the degree to which Chinese HCNs would be willing to offer role information and social support to expatriates from India and the USA.
Design/methodology/approach: The authors conducted a between-subjects simulation (n=402) with front-line, junior-level professionals in four global organizations operating in China, measuring their interpersonal affect toward a hypothetical expatriate colleague, and their willingness to offer role information and social support to the expatriate.
Findings: Results indicated the interpersonal affect felt by Chinese HCNs mediates the relationship between the collectivism levels of Chinese HCNs, and their willingness to offer role information and social support to expatriates.
Research limitations/implications: It should be acknowledged that the authors used hypothetical “paper-people” to test the hypotheses. Future studies should investigate the impact of collectivism and interpersonal affect on HCN willingness to offer role information and social support by examining HCNs’ attitudes toward real-life expatriate colleagues.
Originality/value: While empirical studies examining HCN willingness to offer role information and social support have begun to emerge in the expatriate literature, only a couple of studies have included interpersonal affect as a key determinant. Given that interpersonal affect is a key determinant of individuals’ reactions to others, but also a complex construct, the findings confirm the need for organizations to examine how this impacts performance and co-worker interactions in the workplace.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476-495
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Global Mobility
Volume4
Issue number4
Early online date4 Nov 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4 Nov 2016

Keywords

  • China
  • USA
  • India
  • collectivism
  • expatriates
  • host country nationals
  • interpersonal affect

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